Any tabletop RPG gamers out there?

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Matt Barton
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I'm a bit curious about how many of you guys are into tabletop role-playing (D&D, etc.) and/or miniatures wargaming. I'm interested to see how these two activities compare to their computer equivalents. I'd also like to know if you currently have a group that you play with, and how you managed to find that group or form one yourself. I've been wanting to experiment with that type of gaming for some while, but don't know of any locals.

Matt

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Bill Loguidice
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Test run
Matt Barton wrote:
Bill Loguidice wrote:

So does Ventrillo run in the background with these games and enable real-time voice chat? That's neat.

That's my understanding. It's supposed to use very little bandwidth/cpu resources, so it won't interfere with the game.

I'd be okay with trying this out. Looks like other folks haven't gotten a chance to respond (yet), but maybe if we can prove that it's feasible others will jump on board.

Yeah, let's prove the concept, blog about it, show how easy it is once we get through the kinks, and "boom"...

What should be our test game for this Friday night (assuming you're available)? [By the way, anyone wants in on this, speak up now rather than waiting...] If there are modules that last only a few hours in NWN, that might be the best proving ground and it would get me used to the game at the same time.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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Matt Barton
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Ventrillo
Bill Loguidice wrote:

So does Ventrillo run in the background with these games and enable real-time voice chat? That's neat.

That's my understanding. It's supposed to use very little bandwidth/cpu resources, so it won't interfere with the game.

I'd be okay with trying this out. Looks like other folks haven't gotten a chance to respond (yet), but maybe if we can prove that it's feasible others will jump on board.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
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Getting the band together...
Matt Barton wrote:

I'm not even sure what being a DM on one of these would entail. Never seen that side of the engine before. Probably best to stick to the non-DM unless one of has experience. Did we ever figure out (HEY GUYS) if anyone but Bill and I are in on this? Be nice to have at least 3!

If it doesn't support voice I'd recommend the Ventrillo program again. That's what my friends who do lots of WoW recommend.

Indeed, it looks like three would be the minimum sweet spot. Perhaps though you and I can start it just by ourselves if we have to with something simpler just to get the process going and maybe describe it here on AA and that would in turn get others interested (in fact, I have a few people in mind to ask if we can work the kinks out). I'm thinking maybe something regularly scheduled for 1 - 2 hours or so every late Friday night (say around 11pm EST or later).

So does Ventrillo run in the background with these games and enable real-time voice chat? That's neat.

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
======================================

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Matt Barton
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DM
Bill Loguidice wrote:

I have Neverwinter Nights (a boxed set), but typical me, never played it. Does someone have to be a DM or do we all play it as characters? And the answer is yes, if no one has to be a DM, it's a great idea. [Edit: It looks like "Amulet" doesn't need a DM, so even though "Desert" seems more intriguing, it does in fact seem to need a DM. What about in-game interaction? Does NWN support voice or text only? Either way is fine, though voice would be very cool...] [Edit Edit: It looks like the "Desert" page is giving mixed messages in regards to needing a DM or not. It probably doesn't...

I'm not even sure what being a DM on one of these would entail. Never seen that side of the engine before. Probably best to stick to the non-DM unless one of has experience. Did we ever figure out (HEY GUYS) if anyone but Bill and I are in on this? Be nice to have at least 3!

If it doesn't support voice I'd recommend the Ventrillo program again. That's what my friends who do lots of WoW recommend.

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Bill Loguidice
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NWN
Matt Barton wrote:

I'm thinking Neverwinter Nights might be the way to go. We can probably find a module that none of us are familiar with. There seem, in fact, to be thousands of them, and even a rating system here:

http://nwvault.ign.com/

Let's see if we can figure out how many players would actually be interested in going for something like this. I think NWN is a good choice because it's cheap and modern enough that there shouldn't be issues with systems. If that works out well, we can always explore more difficult options.

I found a couple that look promising:

Amulet of Zeran v2.2
Desert of Desolation

Let me know what you think.

I have Neverwinter Nights (a boxed set), but typical me, never played it. Does someone have to be a DM or do we all play it as characters? And the answer is yes, if no one has to be a DM, it's a great idea. [Edit: It looks like "Amulet" doesn't need a DM, so even though "Desert" seems more intriguing, it does in fact seem to need a DM. What about in-game interaction? Does NWN support voice or text only? Either way is fine, though voice would be very cool...] [Edit Edit: It looks like the "Desert" page is giving mixed messages in regards to needing a DM or not. It probably doesn't...]

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
======================================

n/a
Matt Barton
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NWN

I'm thinking Neverwinter Nights might be the way to go. We can probably find a module that none of us are familiar with. There seem, in fact, to be thousands of them, and even a rating system here:

http://nwvault.ign.com/

Let's see if we can figure out how many players would actually be interested in going for something like this. I think NWN is a good choice because it's cheap and modern enough that there shouldn't be issues with systems. If that works out well, we can always explore more difficult options.

I found a couple that look promising:

Amulet of Zeran v2.2
Desert of Desolation

Let me know what you think.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
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Getting closer...
Matt Barton wrote:

I'm thinking we could use Ventrillo and maybe a game that let you run a server, such as Baldur's Gate II. It'd be fun to try the older stuff if we could somehow easy get to see each other's desktop (or at least the running application.) It'd be even more fun if we could do something with a game like Pool of Radiance or Wizard's Crown, where we could actually "take turns" moving the characters around in combat and such.

As long as there's a facility for real-time chat, preferably voice chat, but text would certainly be acceptable, it would make sense. It's tough though with those desktop controlling applications, as they can be a bit sluggish at times and who knows what might happen with an emulation or game layer on top of it, which requires more real-time updates than a typical business app. It should also be a game no one in the group has played before. Surely though there must be concurrent, relatively modern games that are like turn-based CRPG's that one of us could host and just have the others log into? In other words, you would think someone, sometime has already created what we're trying to achieve without one person having to be a DM... In any case, I'd be up for turn-taking or character controlling in a classic CRPG as long as it could be played like a pseudo pen and paper style "live" game...

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
======================================

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yakumo9275
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Source Material

I dont play anymore but I have a lot of source material. Lots of cyberpunk 2020 manuals, some ad&d manuals and other stuff.
Havnt played in a looooooong time. Probably wont either.

Reading through it all is fascinating, world books, guidelines, etc. good for my crpg design for things like world design and stuff.

-- Stu --

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Matt Barton
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fun ideas
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Obviously the "best" solution would be some type of computer or console game with voice chat, which would approximate some of the face-to-face tabletop experience yet be optimized for long distance play (and minimal connection hassles).

I'm thinking we could use Ventrillo and maybe a game that let you run a server, such as Baldur's Gate II. It'd be fun to try the older stuff if we could somehow easy get to see each other's desktop (or at least the running application.) It'd be even more fun if we could do something with a game like Pool of Radiance or Wizard's Crown, where we could actually "take turns" moving the characters around in combat and such.

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Bill Loguidice
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Refining the ideas
Matt Barton wrote:

That idea had occurred to me as well. Obviously, it's POSSIBLE, but from what I've seen of web conferences, it's a big hassle. It's inevitable that somebody won't connect properly, or will get suddenly disconnected, or the sound/video quality will fluctuate. My bro-in-law (who is a Microsoft tech writer & programmer) and I tried our best to get a web conference going recently, but the result was not satisfying (at least to me). The video quality was low and it took us forever to get to where we could hear each other. I suppose if you do that on a regular basis you can get everything just right with the lighting and placement, but it's tough. Might be easier just to do the voice chat, but then you'd miss out, I think.

Agreed. I've rarely been on video conferences and it's always been a hassle to set up, even with all the equipment already in place in board rooms. Most meetings are held via phone conference and some type of Web application, so audio over the phone and any visuals generated from the Web conference application, which is often just the sharing of a user's desktop.

Obviously the "best" solution would be some type of computer or console game with voice chat, which would approximate some of the face-to-face tabletop experience yet be optimized for long distance play (and minimal connection hassles).

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
======================================

n/a

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